Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Season Simulation
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to see an improvement after losing 3 out of 4 preseason games. Even with star quarterback Jameis Winston, they still need to win in order to have a playoff chance, which isn’t looking likely. Four other bright players giving the Bucs some hope are DB Ryan Smith, P Bryan Anger, WR Chris Godwin and RB Peyton Barber.
Winston threw for 495 yards in the preseason, which is the fifth-most of any quarterback in the league. Smith’s preseason quickly improved ending the preseason with 19 tackles, which was more than his teammates and gave him the rank of Number 10 in the league. Anger is even in on the action with 11 kicks inside the 20-yard line, the second-most in the league. Godwin has been one of the most extraordinary the entire preseason. He has caught seven passes for 100 yards. Last but not least, Barber was the leading rusher in the preseason, with 92 yards on 28 carries. Barber averages 3.3 yards per attempt.
After reading that, the question remains. Are the Bucs headed in the playoff direction? Well, these individual accomplishments are just that, individual. As a team, the Bucs are 1-3 in the preseason, but in order to even be a playoff contender, they need to WIN a game! Well, more than one but you know what I’m saying, right? One win gets the momentum going.
Week 1 (9/10) Vs. Miami Dolphins (Postponed)
Week 2 (9/17) Vs. Chicago Bears
Mitchell Trubisky is showing he’s here to play and win. Trubisky threw 166 yards in the first preseason game, which made him stand out as a force to be reckoned with. However, the last preseason game, Trubisky didn’t have many chances to perform better as before with only two completions out of five attempts. The Bears are becoming more of a team but I think the Bucs will take this win but only by a field goal or two.
Result: Win 14-10
Week 3 (9/24) @ Minnesota Vikings
The Bucs and the Vikings match-up will be a good one because over the past two years the Vikings have improved their overall performance in Week 3. The Bucs rushing and red zone performance are what will give them the close win. Unless there is a drastic change in either team’s defense this will be a close game ending with Bucs winning.
Result: Win 21-20
Week 4 (10/1) Vs. New York Giants
Due to both teams passing game this will be a high scoring exciting game. However, the Giants will win this game as the Bucs are coming off a road game against a tough team.
Result: Lose 32-38
Week 5 (10/5) Vs. New England Patriots
Everyone is out to get the Patriots as they are the defending champions. The Bucs have to win this to show they are true contenders for their division. This game may actually go to overtime.
Result: Win 27-24 OT
Week 6 (10/15) @ Arizona Cardinals
Last year Jameis Winston was intercepted four times against the Arizona Cardinals. As long as Winston plays with a controlled chip on his shoulder the Bucs look good to win this game. This game may be close depending on how healthy the Bucs are at this point of the season.
Result: Win 30-24
Week 7 (10/22) @ Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills look better on paper this season I predict they will actually beat the Bucs. With this being their second road game in a row. The Defensive line of the Bucs will keep the score close but not enough for a win.
Result: Lose 21-24
Week 8 (10/29) Vs. Carolina Panthers
With this first encounter of the season, the Bucs will win. Surprising to some, but it’s week 8 so they need to keep the momentum going. The best part of this matchup is the battle between Jameis Winston and Cam Newton.
Result: Win 21-7
Week 9 (11/5) @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints are often the winners in this match-up, but this year the Bucs plan to change that. After a nice win against Carolina, the Bucs will try to hold the Saints off but it wouldn’t be enough this round.
Result: Loss 14-17
Week 10 (11/12) Vs. New York Jets
The Jest new addition of QB Josh McCown is not enough to help a the inundating Jets team. The Jets do not have a roster that could truly compete with the Bucs.
Result: Win 27-21
Week 11 (11/19) @ Miami Dolphins
Jameis Winston amazing passing game will lead the Bucs to victory. Winston defensive players, such as veteran and former Miami Dolphin Brent Grimes who is expected to play at least as wonderful as the 2016 match-up. If he continues the renascent of 2016, the Bucs will be in a great position to win. When this match-up happens Bucs need to make a statement with this game so it should be a good battle but not necessarily a blowout. I’m predicting the Bucs will win.
Result: Win 27-14
Week 12 (11/26) @ Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta will win this first match-up but the series will be split. This is a major division match-up in the Falcons new stadium giving them momentum to win. Matt Ryan is a veteran that knows how to lead his team to victory.
Result: Loss 21-31
Week 13 (12/3) @ Green Bay Packers
Packers are going to have a great season but will lose this game as the Bucs have to win. Coming off major lost to defending division champs. The Bucs will also be seeking revenge as the Packers annihilated the Bucs at home three years ago with a 203 victory. This will be a game to see but the Bucs will come out on top.
Result: Win 36-27
Week 14 (12/10) Vs. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are a team that kind of goes under the radar until primetime, which would be this week. The Lions will surprisingly beat the Bucs by a few points. However, if Winston passing game is still up to par and defense is playing well the outcome might change.
Result: Loss 27-31
Week 15 (12/18) Vs. Atlanta Falcons
Bucs will win as they are not pleased with the first encounter with the former division champs. Beating the Falcons is necessary.
Result: Win 20-9
Week 16 (12/24) @ Carolina Panthers
The Bucs will win again but not by as many points. With two young successful QB’s Jameis Winston and Cam Newton will put on a high-scoring show. However, the defensive line will hold the Panthers from scoring.
Result: Win 42-32
Week 17 (12/31) Vs. New Orleans Saints
Bucs will close 2017 with a win that gives them a guaranteed second place spot for the NFC South division. It will not be close even though the Bucs have a worse record against the Saints than any other team in their division.
Result: Win 35-14
The chance of the Bucs winning the NFC South doesn’t look promising as ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Bucs only 14% chance to win the NFC South. However, Tampa Bay Bucs reporter, Jenna Laine has hope that the Bucs will win the division this year and if not they will get the wild card, while Atlanta takes the division.